64th Independence Day

Israel's 64th Independence Day

    ​Message by ​Ambassador Amikam Levy, Consul General of the State of Israel in Hong Kong and Macau, on the occasion of the 64th Independence Day of the State of Israel
    The State of Israel has always been famous for its innovation and creativity and it is in this spirit that we wish to make a change to our activities in Hong Kong this year.
    Traditionally, the Consulate General of Israel in Hong Kong celebrates Israel’s Independence Day every year in an official reception. This year, I have decided to make a contribution from the budget of the Independence Day celebration, a donation of HK$139,888, to the Society for the Relief of Disabled Children at a presentation ceremony on May 3.

    In Judaism, the religion of the Jewish people, there is great importance to "Netina" – giving, appreciating and understanding.  The donation is in itself a translation of this value into reality.  It is also a token of appreciation for the close friendship of Israel with Hong Kong. 
    Israel and Hong Kong have been enjoying a longtime and valuable bilateral relationship.  Last year, Israel's Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour and delegation paid an official visit to Hong Kong and met with Hong Kong SAR Government officials and local business leaders.
    In terms of bilateral agreement, the Agreement for Surrender of Fugitive Offenders was initialed last July between the Hong Kong SAR and the State of Israel.  The authorities of Israel and Hong Kong are also in the process of preparing the signing of the agreements on industrial R&D in the coming months and on double taxation in 2013. 
    On R&D collaboration, the Consulate is working closely with Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary research institutions, and the office of Hong Kong’s Commissioner for Innovation and Technology on the establishment of a R&D centre in Hong Kong.
    Israel, which is two-thirds arid, has become a world leader in water technologies, with a track record for pioneering the fields of drip irrigation, water recycling and desalination.  In Hong Kong, Israel is working with the local authority through two Israeli water tech companies, one using software analysis to monitor water and wastewater systems for leaks and other faults, and  the other a billing management company.
    An Israeli water technology incubator’s start-up company has also received a US$2.6 million investment from a Hong Kong venture capital company.  Other Hong Kong investment in Israeli technology includes four Israeli start-up companies, in video-editing, navigation technology and smart phone applications.
    There were two major business delegations from Hong Kong to Israel this year.  One was led by the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, and composed of distinguished local business leaders, to share knowledge and experience in sectors such as electronic, energy, and water and environmental technologies.  In exchange, a business delegation from Israel will come visit Hong Kong in the coming June.
    The other business delegation was arranged for the senior representatives of two leading Hong Kong wine importers to attend the fourth International Wine Exhibition - "ISRAWINEXPO 2012" and to tour the wine regions in Israel.  This followed the other visits to Israel by the two Hong Kong-based Masters of Wine, both in 2010 respectively.
    On arts and cultural activities, the Programme Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society went to Israel last year to look into the latest repertoires of the different Israeli art companies and to check out the up-and-coming artists.  The Consulate will collaborate with the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society to present a number of modern dance performances and world music concerts in the 2013 festival.
    Israel is determined to share our innovation and creativity, be that in the forms of technology or arts, with Hong Kong, China and the world.  We believe in a better future, and by sharing we hope we will be a step forward.